Advice on getting through your course
Keep focused and enjoy
Wednesday 18 August 2010
You can’t start your course unless you’ve registered for it. Do so in your first week. It might take a few boring hours queuing in a hall, but it’s worth it. Once you’re done, you’re an official student – which is a massive achievement. Take a moment to congratulate yourself and feel proud.
Follow a schedule
Luckily, your uni will sort one out for you. It’s called a timetable. Get yours and stick it somewhere prominent in your bedroom. Then, when it says “Tutorial, 10am”, you head to your tutorial. For 10am. Simples.
Where there are gaps, structure your time with useful things to make your parents proud, such as reading, essay-writing, exercise and so on. Interspersed with sleeping, going to the pub and watching Countdown.
Know your deadlines
Deadlines are like timetables, insomuch as it’s important with both to know what needs to be done and when. Uni is different to school: no one will chase you or nag you. Take responsibility.
“I wasn’t prepared for just how |free uni is, in terms of teaching,” remembers Melissa Robertson. “You really need to motivate yourself, because your tutor will not come knocking at your door if you fail to get out of bed for your tutorial – they’ll just fail you! It sounds harsh, but it’s good in a way. You learn to motivate yourself to work, which you’ll need to do after you graduate.”
Work your way systematically down the reading list your university has kindly provided you with.
Yep, you heard us. You’re at uni for all sorts of things. You will mature as a person, gain new friends, learn new skills, discover who you are and what you want to do in future, learn to take care of yourself, pay bills, cook and clean... but most important of all, you should gain a degree. Don’t lose focus: you need to use the library, meet your course requirements and do your best. Make sure that you deserve your place on campus.
At uni, you will be expected to seek out the help you need, so, if you find yourself struggling academically, don’t wait for someone to come to you. Support is readily available, as well as advice on practical matters such as accommodation – you just have to seek it out. Student Services should be your first port of call: they can redirect you if necessary. For academic advice, you can also rely on your tutors.
Take a long-term view
It’s a good idea to consider your future employability while you’re a student. This a luxurious time of life that |usually affords plentiful down time. Use yours wisely. Can any of your hobbies enhance your CV? Are there campaigns or organisations you can give a few hours to help, thereby contributing to society and building useful skills for yourself? Can your part-time job be something that might inform later career choices? Bear in mind that student life is finite: enjoy it, and graduate with as many skills and as much experience as you can.
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